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2020, July 19: See Moon and 5 Planets

See the moon and 5 planets simultaneously before sunrise on July 19, 2020.

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2020, July 19: Mercury appears 5.0° to the right of the crescent moon.

Update:  Click here for the July 20 article about the five planets.

Update July 19:  For this writer all five planets were visible but not simultaneously.  Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Venus were visible.  As the sky brightened storms clouds, moving in from the southwest, covered the giant planet pair.  The moon then rose above the horizon with Mercury.

Without the moon, five planets are visible for about the next week before Mercury disappears back into the sun’s glare.

2020, July 17: The crescent moon, Brilliant Venus, and Aldebaran shine from the eastern during early morning twilight.

2020, July 19: The moon and five planets stretch across the sky before sunrise.

See the moon and 5 planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – simultaneously before sunrise on July 19, 2020.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon and five planets are visible curved across the morning sky on July 19, 2020.  Find a spot with clear horizons in the east-northeast and the southwest.  A binocular may help finding the moon, Mercury, and Jupiter.

(After July 19, the five planets are in the sky without the moon.  By late July, Mercury then moves back into bright twilight. and the sun’s glare.  The four bright planets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, are visible in the morning sky until mid-August, when Jupiter, and then Saturn disappear below the southwest horizon.)

Here’s what to look for:

2020, July 17: The crescent moon, Venus, and Aldebaran in the eastern sky before sunrise.

2020, Jul y17: Mars appears in the southeast during early morning twilight.

2020, July 17: Bright Jupiter (lower right) and Saturn shine from the southwestern sky.

Five planets and the crescent moon are in the sky at one time! During the next few mornings five planets are visible, but without the moon. Additionally, Jupiter is quickly leaving the sky. So on successive mornings, look 3-4 minutes earlier each day. You may catch them in the sky until about July 25.  Until about mid-August look about two hours before sunrise to see the four bright planets – Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter.

For those with a telescope

The Classic 9 planets (Mercury – Pluto), the moon, and two dwarf planets are in the sky simultaneously on July 19 as Mercury approaches its greatest morning elongation and the moon wanes toward its solar conjunction.  Here’s how to see this solar system gallery of planetary objects:

After locating Pluto, look for the dimmer planets before morning twilight begins at approximately 3:30 a.m. CDT.

Jupiter and Saturn are headed toward their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020. Look for them low in the southeast during the early evening hours of July and August 2020.

 

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